Dairy farm hope up

Great Southern Herald - - News -

WA dairy farm­ers can ex­pect bet­ter con­tract terms in sup­ply­ing milk, af­ter an agree­ment was struck be­tween pro­ces­sors and the Fed­eral reg­u­la­tor.

Dairy pro­ces­sors Brownes, Lion Dairy and Drinks, and Par­malat/Har­vey Fresh, were among the WA com­pa­nies which agreed to amend spe­cific terms in their milk sup­ply agree­ments, ad­dress­ing the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion’s con­cerns some terms were un­fair to farm­ers. Other pro­ces­sors to agree in­cluded Norco and Fon­terra.

The ACCC had worked with dairy pro­ces­sors to en­sure terms in the con­tracts they of­fer farm­ers com­ply with the busi­ness-to-busi­ness un­fair con­tract terms law en­acted in Novem­ber 2016.

The ACCC’s work fo­cused on terms in milk sup­ply con­tracts that had the po­ten­tial to cause the great­est harm to farm­ers.

Most pro­ces­sors agreed to pro­vide dairy farm­ers with the right to ter­mi­nate their con­tract if the pro­ces­sor varies sup­ply terms such as price or qual­ity re­quire­ments, plac­ing the farmer in a worse po­si­tion.

The ACCC also raised con­cerns with some pro­ces­sors about lengthy no­tice pe­ri­ods for farm­ers to ter­mi­nate their con­tracts, one-sided ter­mi­na­tion rights, broad in­dem­ni­ties, and terms that re­strict a farmer’s abil­ity to lease a farm or sell their cat­tle.

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